KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 11): Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) will declare its dividend payout for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2018 (FY18) in February, Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said today.
He said the dividend will be based on the economic conditions and the current investment, without revealing the dividend payout expected.
In FY17, LTAT had declared a 12.5% dividend and bonus, which was higher than the average annual payout of 11.3% since the board was set up 45 years ago.
However, the payout comprised a 6% dividend as well as a 6.5% special bonus in the form of unit trusts.
Mohamad said the lower dividend for three consecutive years including FY17 was due to LTAT's lower receivable income from its returned dividends through its investment companies and the uncertainty in the local stock market.
He was responding to a parliamentary question by member of parliament for Kuala Terengganu Ahmad Azmad Mohamed @ Hashim on the decline in LTAT’s net profit and the lower dividend paid to contributors for three consecutive years (FY15-FY17).
Mohamad said LTAT income also comes from other activities such as the sale of land, interests from deposit savings and rent income from LTAT properties.
"The revenue is distributed to the contributors in a form of dividend that is credited into their accounts," he said.
He added that the management and its board of directors will continue to identify new investments which would profit the armed forces fund, and do a check and balance on its investments from time to time, to make sure they are safe investments and giving the right opportunity.
"I, myself, will take the necessary steps in order to rearrange LTAT's management to ensure it is good and efficient," he said, adding that LTAT will be at its best in the future.
Meanwhile, Mohamad said the dividends, namely cash and unit trusts, are for its contributors who are saving for their future.
"But the government and LTAT think that it is for the long term. That's why the unit trust is credited to them for their future," he said, adding that when the armed forces retired, they would gain the profit from the investment and from the unit trusts that are invested.
On Nov 1, the government said it was still in the midst of discussing the amount of compensation payable to LTAT for the acquisition of two companies related to the automated enforcement system (AES) project.